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Box 17.3 Socially useful production
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Views as to exactly what represents the best way for individuals and organisations inevitably differ. While some people focus more on national-and international-level issues, via pressure groups and other forms of lobbying, for others local self-help initiatives and communitybased campaigns are seen as the best way forward; acting locally while thinking globally. The individual’s level of commitment can vary from just improving their personal lifestyles, or working with others to set up local community-based energy projects, through to changing the way that their employers or other agencies operate and campaigning on international environmental issues. (See Appendix II for a list of key contact points for futher personal involvement.)

In the final analysis, most people in the ‘green’ movement believe that sustainability can only be achieved if widespread agreement can be reached on what needs to be done: quite apart from being inequitable and undemocratic, draconian solutions imposed from above by elites are likely to create more problems than they solve. Grass roots initiatives may at times look weak by comparison with the scale of the problems, and the power of the large organisations that currently shape world affairs. But, as the contacts list (Appendix II) indicates, networks are growing up around the world, often making use of internet computer links, which may offer at least some solutions to the problem of thinking globally and acting locally.